The Roadmap to Switching Careers
By Chai Fook Tien
So you’ve run into a wall with your career. You’re stuck in a rut, nothing motivates you anymore, and you just dread going to work. This could mean that it’s time to start thinking about making a career switch. There was a time when people just stuck to one job for their whole lives, but those days are long gone.
People are now aware of the many options they have, and sticking to one’s first job is a rarity nowadays. Life opens up many opportunities, and it’s up to you to take them or stay afraid of taking them.
No one is telling you that you need to stick to engineering if your passion truly lies in retail. Push yourself to explore career opportunities that you’ll find fulfilling. That’s the dream, isn’t it? To actually be passionate about what you’re doing. But switching careers after years of working in one place is not so simple. Luckily for you, we have some advice to assist you in your career switch.
Follow your passion – don't be intimidated by a job posting in a field or industry different than your own.
Focus on whether you have a genuine interest in the position, which will shine through when you apply for the job. Passion is contagious – if you demonstrate that you are genuinely excited, your potential employers will take notice.
Study the job description of the position you’re interested in and reflect on how your skills might match up.
This is an important exercise, because it will help you determine when the job is even worth applying for. It will also serve as a firm foundation for developing a new resume.
Tweak your resume accordingly for every job you apply for.
Essentially, be prepared to develop a new resume for each job application you send, even if is just slightly modified from your base resume. Scrutinise your resume for typos and formatting glitches and have a friend peer-review it for you.
A good cover letter is king.
Your cover letter is your opportunity to convey your passion for the position you’re applying for. The resume serves the purpose of outlining your qualifications, but the cover letter is your time to craft your story, to convince a hiring manager that you're interesting, engaging, and worthy of being shortlisted for an interview.
You never know who you're going to meet, so be open and candid about your interest in pursuing new employment opportunities.
Opportunities are everywhere – you can meet someone at a party who’ll inform you about an open position at their company. Fortune favours the bold, so while it may be hard to put yourself out there, that’s what you need to do. With that all said, know that it takes time to find the right fit.
Don’t be disheartened if it’s taking a while. With every job posting you read and for every position you apply for, you're slowly building momentum towards doing what you love. It will happen when the time is right, so trust in yourself and keep pushing forward.
If you’ve been inspired to make a career switch, check out our jobs listings at JobsCentral. Take a look and see if you can find your true calling.